You decide which film gets the 2019 Movies for Grownups Readers’ Choice award! Vote now.
by Elizabeth Llorente, AARP VIVA, January 2008
Something's coming—and it's coming with an authenticity that should galvanize an already acclaimed classic love story. Five decades after West Side Story debuted at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., it's back this December.
"It's not a revival," says Arthur Laurents, 90, its original librettist and the man behind the latest production. "This is very different in two respects. One, it's bilingual. And there's going to be attitude in this version. In 1957, [the gangs] were 'cute.' These kinds of kids were never cute. They were vicious. The [real-life] Sharks and the Jets were killers."
Laurents says he's aiming for a more realistic portrayal of a section of Manhattan's West Side known as Hell's Kitchen and the 1950s gang wars that dominated the area. He's cast Latinos in key and supportive roles, and is thrilled with his choice for Maria: Josefina Scaglione, 21, an Argentinian opera-trained actress.
"It's about time" the era is depicted more accurately, says Gerson Borrero, a columnist for New York's largest Spanish-language newspaper, El Diario/La Prensa.
Broadway is the next stop for the production, in March.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Movie reviews, news and celebrity interviews.
Exclusive benefits for AARP members.
Members save 10% off the best available rate.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at